Sunday, March 14, 2010

Water Down the Drain and You get Snowed by Florida State Government. By Geniusofdespair

Florida is always short of water, so one of the more surprising findings in the Florida Inland Waters Committee Report of 3/11/10 was that:

With the ample rain Florida gets, 1.7 billion gallons per day of fresh water are lost to tide through canals and other conveyances. This is enough water to supply the daily needs of 9 million people.

Here is the utterly strangest finding of the report, which to me is a breach of public trust:

Since enactment of SB 444 in 2005, funding for alternative water projects has been steadily reduced. Funding was completely removed for the current fiscal year.

WHAT?? How did that happen? Will someone please explain this to me? The bill provided $100 million per year to the Water Protection and Sustainability Trust Fund for alternative water supply projects, yet funding has been reduced every year since SB 444's enactment and now it is not funded at all. What kind of law is that? Was it enacted as 'empty-suit, feel good' legislation to take the sting out of the toxic companion bill SB 360? Here is what SB 444 was SUPPOSED TO DO according to the Florida Chapter of the American Planning Association:

SB 444 is a significant piece of legislation that addresses water planning, supply and concurrency. It provides funding to the five water management districts to develop alternative water supplies. It requires a 20-year planning horizon for Regional Water Supply Plans and strengthens the public participation and intergovernmental requirements associated with those plans. Local government comprehensive plans are now required to be consistent with these plans within 18 months of the water supply plan’s adoption. It also requires that water to be available for new development before a certificate of occupancy may be issued.

I think we the public have been duped big-time by the Florida Legislature.


Jill said...

Because the new money is going to be in "water farming."

Evans Properties is trying to set up private water and wastewater utilites in Pasco and Indian River counties where they own thousands of farmland acres.
Here's a quote from a recent TCPalm story -
“We don’t know what we’re going to do,” ( Evans President Ron Edwards said)“We know citrus is not looking good. ... We’re looking at things like water farming.”

Interesting that Evans has donated a lot of money to Floridians for Smarter Growth.
Wouldn't want to set up a water utility so that you can try and get high density on your rural properties only to have the neighbors vote you down.

Anonymous said...

I think we ought to talk about defunding more. It is the quiet way to squash projects and undermine the power of agencies that politicians don't like (for instance, the SEC). It is far more easy to defund something than to come out and enrage the public by trying to do away with something.

Geniusofdespair said...

Totally agree last anon...I think we are on to something. Defunding sucks.